At St. Monica, we are a parish that has been called to “Encounter Christ.” The Lord seems to have asked us to do so through His Word, Through Liturgy and Through Reaching out and Helping Others. Over the past 4 years, women from St. Monica and elsewhere have encountered Christ, often is powerful ways, through that encounter with the Word of Christ, especially within the context of Walking With Purpose. More recently, men of St. Monica have begun to experience a similar encounter.
A little over a year ago, St. Monica teamed up with St, Norbert to co-sponsor “That Man is You.” TMIY gets men together where they can honestly address the pressures and temptations that men face in our modern culture, especially those relating to their roles as husbands and fathers. The program harmonizes current social and medical science with the teachings of the Church and the wisdom of the saints to develop the vision of a ”man fully alive!” (St. Irenaeus).
I wanted to share what some of the men have told me and others about their TMIY experience:
Getting to know the men at our table has made going to church at STM’s more meaningful… My wife and I have many friends in the parish, but the guys are pretty special friends. She’s had those special friends through her volunteer activities and WWP…. Now I know what I was missing. Also, hearing examples of other’s challenges and their activities for dealing with them adds to the variety of things to consider in my own life…. we tend to model the behaviors what we observe around us. Bill F.
TIMY has given me a sharper focus on the importance of empathy, gratitude and humility and practice them daily to my family, friends and anyone I encounter in daily life. I am learning to be more aware of the depth of my own failings and how much work lies ahead of me in my road trip toward in greater faith in God’s love for me. I know the importance of prayer and forgiveness in my life. The more I pray the better my life gets. ” Learn to enjoy your journey ” and with the fellowship around table 5A I’m learning and enjoying. Joe S.
That Man Is You provides me with a weekly opportunity to retreat from the chaos of daily life and refocus my energy on the things that truly matter most to me: my faith and my family. As a husband and father of a young family, the stress of raising a Catholic family in today’s world is particularly acute. TMIY gives me a forum to discuss my challenges with men that have walked (or are walking) in my shoes, while at the same time giving me an opportunity to offer insights to other men struggling with their own challenges. TMIY builds community amongst its participants at a time when technology and society tend to create greater isolation. TMIY has been extremely impactful in making me a better father and husband. I’m very thankful for TMIY and the men of St. Monica’s that are walking life’s path with me. Mike B.
I agree we do have a good thing going for table 5A. We seem to have a group of men that are action oriented who take prayer serious. Even more we are a group of men that put all our cards on the table and trusted each other from the start. Just think of the original group of guys that were not afraid to open up to a group of relative strangers. I believe we showed strength of commitment. Bob P.
TMIY has offered many, many stories that touch my soul … just as it has touched us all. How mighty of God to lead a group of men, some known to others already but many unknown to each other, to find themselves together. How Mighty! And how great to have a teacher such as Steve Bollman to explain what some of us have never heard. Truly, Steve has been sent to earth for a mighty purpose. At some point I saw a saying, “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up and never give up.” That seemed like a good saying to live by. I look forward to each Thursday morning with our group, 5A. But when Thursday morning arrives, at 4:55 AM, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to get out of bed. Still, I know that God is calling me. It is such a gift to discuss all that we have discussed, to lean on each other and to be able to pray for each other. I truly enjoy our group of guys. I realize that one day, and one by one, we will depart to love and to serve the Lord. I only hope that each one of us continues to get as much out of this group as I do and to be touched by TMIY. Hal P.
I find TMIY very thought provoking, offering great detailed information in each video, providing wonderful camaraderie and friendship building and very inspirational (Although, every now and then, a little deep for 6AM). Thanks for leading this program, it is truly inspirational. Bob S
I really was not sure of my expectations when asked to attend the first session of TMIY, September of 2017. Was this going to be a Bible study program, scripture reading sessions, a Christian adult education program, or the unknown? Just what did the Lord have in store for me? As it turned out, a group of Saint Monica men of all ages, assembled with those of other parishes at Saint Norbert to discover a program that would bring us closer in marriage and family life, new friendships, and more importantly closer to Jesus. From the start, we were able to discuss the issues we felt affected our lives. The group had the ears of wisdom, listening intently, commenting often, and mostly helping each of us understand that we were not alone. TMIY has helped me sort through my life to develop an increased understanding of marriage, family, and friendship. Bill S.
Fellowship with all of the guys is very important and TMIY gives each of us a new perspective. The weekly videos are quite inspirational and I look forward to resuming in the spring Chris M.
I am looking forward to attending TIMY and even bringing a guest Thank you for sharing the discussion from TIMY. Frank S.
I am humbled and grateful for the men in our group and the TMIY program. We have been meeting since Sept 2017 and each meeting we witness the Spirit of God moving in us. There is very little opportunity for men to have this experience. Many of you have told me how special Thursday 6 AM is to you and how it has been changing your life, your relationships with your spouse, children, how you conduct yourselves….it’s been pretty amazing. We are inspired by the stories at our table and it lifts us up knowing that others have been in the same place and have the same needs and have like prodigal sons come back to the Father. Lord, I thank you for this opportunity to see your light through the lens of fellowship and community. I am grateful for Paradisus Dei for organizing TMIY and grateful for the men of St Norbert for hosting. And I am especially grateful to the men of St M., whom I share a spiritual journey. Tom M.
I too am most grateful for this sharing. I realize that I have probably missed more Thursdays than I have attended, but the meetings I have been able to attend have had a great impact on me. Thank you. Buck B.
My two cents would be that I was looking for a way to connect more with Christ and the church, but nothing really seemed like a good fit. I would volunteer for the one off programs like meal packing, but there was nothing consistent that I found myself driven to. When TMIY was announced I was curious if it was the connection I was looking for. Not only has the program filled a void for me spiritually, it has given me great personal and spiritual connections with fellow Catholic men, excellent insight into life and the trials thereof, and has led to an overall improvement in my own family life and marriage that I did not even realize I needed until it was there. Jeff T.
“TIMY has been a refreshing, thought provoking activity for Catholic men that is much needed today. In summary you will discover: (1) a gathering of a social group of interested Catholic men that are motivated to deepen their Faith; (2) teachings of the Catholic Church on important topics; (3) personal growth after each session and new friendships; (4) the sharing of heartfelt, personal stories in an accepting environment. Come explore TIMY…you will find a welcoming group of men that will foster life changing growth to live deepen Faith that will lead to joy.” Aaron P.
Around Christmastime, I personally met with a select group of TMIY men from St. Monica and other local parishes. I recall conversations that I have had with WWP women who have gained so much from that “encounter with the Word.” They would constantly ask, “What about the men, Father? I’m worried about my husband, brother, son…. They’re such great guys but it’s not easy for them. They’re having a tough time. Isn’t there anything for them?” Those women have been praying for “their guys” for over three years. It seems as if the Lord is beginning to answer those prayers. You will see more about TMIY in our parish bulletin and website. If interested, please contact Tom McGurk at email@example.com
A final point and full disclosure. I have not attended TMIY on a regular basis. It is scheduled at a day/time that I have trouble syncing with my schedule. I have committed to the TMIY men that I will be discussing with them how I can become more engaged with TMIY in 2019. I am very cognizant of my need for that men’s community and that “Encounter With The Word” as well. I have a men’s Gospel Reflection Group that meets every Saturday at 7:00 AM at Starbucks in the Gateway Shopping Center. I’m there almost every week. I would invite any man interested in some kind of connection with a tremendous group of guys to check out either one of these.